The alluring city of Seville is one of the most popular destinations not just in Andalusia but in all of Spain. With more monuments and attractions that you can count on your hands and toes, Seville is a living museum of palaces, churches, and medieval buildings. But with so much going on, tourists often don’t get the opportunity to see what else lies outside the city.
Thankfully, Seville is located next to many other beautiful destinations. It’s a great base for exploring Andalusia as well as other regions around this soulful country. Whether you’re interested in nature, beaches, or historic ruins, Spain has a day trip that’s guaranteed to make your time here a memorable one.
Where you choose to go on your day trip will depend on your interests, time, and method of transportation.
Table of Contents
- What is the Best Day Trip from Seville?
- Doñana National Park
What is the Best Day Trip from Seville?
There are a few places that are located just outside of Seville, including Cordoba and the archeological ruins of Italica, that make great day trips. With more time, you can also visit other colorful cities like Granada, Cadiz, or Jerez. And if you’re more into natural wonders, the beaches in Malaga cater to sunbathers, while the untouched landscapes of the Doñana National Park are ideal for birdwatchers.
But these are just a few must-see places that can be reached from Seville. Read on to find out other spots you can visit on a day trip.
Cordoba is another beautiful gem of Andalusia, which sits just 50 minutes by train from Seville. Although it was originally established by the Romans, Cordoba has had a strong influence from centuries of occupation. The old town is a unique mix of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish cultures that is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other city in the world.
Admire the Moorish designs of the Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral or Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. Or head to the riverfront, which is dominated by the 2,000-year-old Roman Bridge.
The well-preserved Jewish Quarter is also full of historical sites, including the Cordoba Synagogue, the Zoo, and the Bull Fighting Museum.
If you only have a few hours, then make sure to make the short ride over to the Roman archeological site of Italica. It was founded in 206 BC, making it the first settlement in Spain and the oldest outside of Italy.
Excavations over the last few decades have uncovered a well-preserved Roman city with houses, temples, thermal baths, and an amphitheater for 25,000 spectators. It was also in Italica where Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian were born.
You can tour Italica on your own, although a guided tour can help shed light on the different structures, mosaics, and buildings. You can also take the bus from Sevilla Santa Justa, which drops you off directly in Santiponce (the modern town located near the archeological site).
Most people come to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra, a Moorish fortress run by the Muslim rulers of the Nasrid dynasty.
Not only is the complex home to ornate palaces, courtyards, and pavilions, but its awe-inspiring location atop the Sierra Nevada mountains makes it an unmistakable landmark of the Granada skyline.
The city itself mostly sits at the foothills, except for the Albaicin neighborhood (the old Arab quarter known for its handicraft shops and sweeping views of the Alhambra).
The Royal Chapel and the surrounding streets are great places to explore, as there are numerous flamenco theaters, tapas restaurants, and boutique shops to visit. It’s a long day trip (2.5 hours from Seville), but transportation by train is possible.
Doñana National Park
Home to some of Spain’s most diverse landscapes, Doñana National Park is an unspoiled ecosystem of marshes, pine forests, and sand dunes. And at over 200 square miles in size, it’s also the largest nature reserve in all of Europe. All of this is just 2 hours outside of Seville!
Wildlife watching here is unbeatable. Wild boars, red deer, rabbits, and even Iberian lynx roam through the park, while over 300 different types of birds have been documented here annually.
Due to its strategic location between Europe and Africa, Doñana National Park is a stopover for many migratory species, including eagles, ducks, warblers, robins, herons, and flamingos. You can walk or cycle, although you’ll cover more ground by car or by booking a guided tour.
Step off the main tourist track and visit Jerez de la Frontera, which is located 1 hour from Seville between the Cadiz Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
The entire town is brimming with architectural delights, from the grand Gothic and Baroque Cathedral to the Renaissance Palacio de Campo Real. As with other Andalusian cities, there are also quite a few Arab influences, like the Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera.
Jerez also has the reputation of being the capital of sherry wine production. If you’ve never tried sherry before, you can stop in one of the many bodegas in Jerez to sample some.
It pairs perfectly with the local tapas of salmorejo (chilled tomato soup), jamon (slices of Iberian ham), or espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas).
Sometimes, you just need to be by the sea! That’s why many day trippers make the 2-hour journey to the Costa del Sol – most commonly to the bustling town of Malaga. Here, you’ll find a handful of sun-soaked beaches where you can spend the day swimming, sunbathing, or even kitesurfing! Malagueta Beach is the closest, although La Misericordia and Penon del Cuervo are also popular with tourists and locals!
But Malaga isn’t just about sun and sand. It also has an ancient old town with a Morrish Alcazaba, a Gothic cathedral, and a Roman theater. There are also countless museums, restaurants, and shops where you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon after a day at the beach.
I can also highly recommend the Mercado Central de Atarazanas for a quick snack or tapas tasting.
Easily accessible by public transportation, Cadiz makes an easy day trip for travelers coming from Seville. And despite its small size, this port city packs a huge punch.
With ruins that date back to the 12 century BC, Cadiz is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in all of Europe.
As such, you can find many landmarks that have been built over the past few thousand years, including the Cadiz Cathedral, the Castillo de Santa Catalina, and the Roman Theater.
Cadiz’s unique location on a narrow peninsula means you’re never too far from a beach! La Playa de la Caleta is a popular spot in the old town, although La Playa de la Victoria is a larger and more family-friendly beach in the newer part of the city.
As you can see, the outskirts of Seville are almost as intriguing as the city itself. From charming mountain towns to buzzing beach resorts, it’s entirely possible to see the unique landscapes of Spain in just a few hours.
But now that you know the different places in the area, you’re now tasked with the hardest decision – picking where you want to go!